created by Glenn Tamashiro

Hello and welcome. This site was developed to keep you informed about the various lessons and activities that are held in our Government/Economics and Honors Government/AP Macroeconomics classes.

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APMacro: PF Big Risk


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Using a deck of 12 cards, students will pull a card from the deck to determine which items will be affected. Uninsured students will experience losses in all categories affected by pulling a card from the deck. The simulation represents five years. Students will pull a card five times. Shuffle the cards before choosing one for each year. At the end of the five years, the students should calculate the total amount spent for the five-year period.

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Gov: Chapter 13 Review


  • The executive branch enforce the laws and carries out government policy. A  chief executive leads this branch and oversees the work of the government bureaucracy.
  • Mayors, governors, and presidents are all chief executives. They manage executive affairs at their level of government.
  • The president has certain powers under the Constitution. Over time, presidential power has expanded as a result of custom and practice. Today the president enjoys powers beyond those listed in the Constitution.
  • The president plays many roles as head of the executive branch. Among these are chief executive, commander in chief, chief diplomat, and chief policymaker.
  • The executive branch contains many officials, departments, and agencies. The president oversees the operations of these various groups with assistance from advisers.
  • Most Americans benefit from the services that local, state, and federal bureaucracies provide despite complaints about bureaucratic inefficiency.

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APMacro: PF Insurance


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Insurance can help you manage the risks of rare, but expensive events, throughout your life such as car accident, theft or fire. Without the protection of an insurance policy, you would be responsible for covering the loss you experienced. Insurance provides a way to reduce the risk of financial loss. The function of insurance is simply to restore your property and possessions to the point it was before the incident occurred, to re-establish normalcy in your life. The purpose of insurance is to spread risks out over many people. The economic structure of insurance is built around a system in which the cost of the losses of the few is shared among the many. Insurance can be viewed as a large pot into which all premiums are placed. The pot has to provide for payment of the losses of those who have claims. Insurance is all about managing risk and providing financial compensation in the event of a loss.

The decision to buy insurance depends on individual judgment about the future. The general guideline is not to allow a large portion of potential loss to remain uninsured. To illustrate some of the risks associated with choosing or refusing to purchase insurance, the class will participate in the big risk simulation activity. Students are to imagine that they have just graduated from high school. They own a number of assets that they are thinking of insuring, including an automobile, inherited jewelry, a rare coin set, and the contents of their rented apartment. Their employer provides a health insurance plan they can purchase. Students will examine the possible risks and dollar costs of insuring various things they would like to insure. They may not spend more than $2,900; they may spend less. Students will not be able to insure all items.

Arrows-02-june

Gov Federal Bureaucracy


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A bureaucracy is a method of organizing people and work, based on the principles of hierarchical authority, job specialization, and formalized rules. As a form of organization, a bureaucracy is the most efficient means of getting people to work together on tasks of great magnitude and complexity. It is also a form of organization that is prone to waste and rigidity, which is why efforts are always being made to reform it.

The United States could not be governed without a large federal bureaucracy. The day-to-day work of the federal government, from mail delivery to provision of social security to international diplomacy, is done by federal agencies. Federal employees work in roughly four hundred major agencies, including cabinet departments, independent agencies, regulatory agencies, government corporations, and presidential commissions. Yet the bureaucracy is more than simply an administrative giant. Administrators have discretion when making policy decisions. In the process of implementing policy, they make important policy and political choices.

The federal bureaucracy is organized into departments, agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and advisory committees. The 15 cabinet departments include the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Interior, Agriculture, Justice, Commerce, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security. The president appoints each department’s secretary, undersecretary, and assistant secretaries. Each department has bureaus or agencies within it. The federal bureaucracy also includes more than 100 independent organizations that are not part of the departments. Examples of independent agencies include the Social Security Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Some independent agencies are government corporations, such as the United States Postal Service, Amtrak, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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APMacro: PF Financial Institutions



Financial institutions help people manage their money, protect it, and make it grow. People often use different types of financial institutions at different stages of their lives. Of these institutions, we will examine four types of financial institutions. This lesson invites the students to investigate services available from financial institutions in their own community. As an example of a common financial service, the lesson stresses checking accounts—their main features and the mechanics of using them

In the past, each type of financial institution offered specific and limited services. Banks took deposits to be placed in checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit, and they granted credit in the form of loans to qualified individuals. Savings and loans offered savings accounts and home mortgages. Credit unions, a type of member-owned cooperative, made low-interest loans available to their members. Brokerage firms bought and sold stocks for customers on an exchange, and offered other financial services.

Deregulation in the financial industry has blurred the lines between these institutions and increased competition among them. For example, savings and loans now can offer checking accounts and many types of loans in addition to home mortgages. Many commercial banks now can offer brokerage services.

Arrows-02-june

Gov: President’s Roles


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The president is often viewed as the most powerful national leader in the world. However, at one time, U.S. presidents held far less power. During the 1800s, presidents acted mainly as “chief clerks.” Other than carrying out the will of Congress, they had little authority other than those powers explicitly granted by the Constitution. Since the end of World War II, the presidency has been powerful, no matter who was in the White House. By the 1970s, critics of presidential power voiced concerns about the rise of an “imperial presidency,” meaning presidents acted more like emperors than constitutional leaders.

Public expectations, national crises, and changing national and world conditions have required the presidency to become a strong office. Underlying this development is the public support the president receives from being the only nationally elected official. The president’s election by national vote and position as sole chief executive ensure that others will listen to his ideas. But to lead effectively, the president must have the help of other officials, and to get their help, he must respond to their interests as they respond to his. Presidential influence on national policy is highly variable. Whether presidents succeed or fail in getting their policies enacted depends heavily on the force of circumstance, the stage of their presidency, partisan support in Congress, and the foreign or domestic nature of the policy issue.

To retain an effective leadership position, the president also depends on the strong backing of the American people. While many presidents have high support ratings early in their administrations, these ratings invariably decline due to disappointment, scandal, or general disillusionment. Unfortunately, the public expects far more from the president than he can deliver. The media is also a problem here, as it tends to dwell on “negative spin” regarding presidential “broken promises” or difficulties rather than what the president has actually accomplished.

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Springfest


Springfest

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